Stigma And Its Effects On Modern Society Essay

2209 Words Dec 10th, 2016 9 Pages
Stigma, coming from the Latin stem stigmat- means to mark or brand, especially a slave (Definition of STIGMA, 2016). Although stigma in modern society may not be as clear as a physical marker, it is still as prevalent and degrading. Even in progressive modern society, stigma persists surrounding mental illness, especially Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, more commonly known as OCD. The question, then, becomes why does this stigma persist? The answer however is neither simple nor succinct as the stigma has taken multiple complex facets as it has become ingrained in modern culture.
What is OCD?
The first step in understanding the stigma that surrounds OCD is to understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorder itself. The disorder itself is characterized by “recurrent obsessions about certain phenomena and experience intrusive, distressing thoughts, images or impulses” (Murphy, 2012). What many people are unaware of though is that “repeated and stereotyped behaviours are under the individual’s volitional control but are difficult to resist carrying out” (Murphy, 2012). This means that the person suffering from OCD is aware of the actions or behaviors they repeat and are also cognizant that such impulses are irrational but often do not know how to resist the compulsions. As a result, even though the person suffering from OCD technically has control over their body and is aware of the irrationality of their compulsion, they still fall prey to the compulsions due to their…

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